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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Nov 29, 2005 9:37pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: New York Times article- Grateful Dead

I work in Public Radio (proudly),and over the past 10 years have worn many hats, from producer to editor, and on-air host/interviewer. When I worked in Boston I helped book, promote, and produce an interview with Dennis McNally who had just released his (then) new book about life with Jerry and the Dead.

I was by far the biggest Dead Head at the station and was given free reign to shape the questions for the interviewer, and I worked closely with another producer providing select cuts from Dicks Picks to enhance what McNally had to say about the Dead's legacy and continuing influence on modern-day music. I went waaaaay out of my way to make the interview one of the most comprehensive and highly produced pieces we ever aired. Most everyone else was lukewarm (and that's being kind) about the prospect of interviewing McNally at all, and I had to work hard in meetings to push for the interview to happen.

After we were done I spoke w/McNally about my appreciation for his work and the band's over the years and he seemed grateful for the extra attention given his segment. He also asked me if I had many tapes in my collection and I admitted that I hadn't done much trading over the years because the quality of the tapes was often so poor I didn't bother. He then made my day by promising to send me what he described as high quality CD's of the June 1977 Winterland run.

I just about fell over myself thanking him, and I remember him saying "hey, every DeadHead should have good quality versions of these shows--they're amazing." I offered to pay him for them, at the very least for the postage, and he demurred, saying that tape trading has always been free and it's all about spreading the music. It took some time but the CD's did arrive and I was thrilled to have them.

Now, reading his comments in the Times makes me wonder a) Why did I bother working so hard to make that interview the best it could be?, or b) Was the McNally I met kidnapped by space aliens and replaced with a corporate quality control spokesman from the planet Hypocri-tron?

This is sad beyond belief. I hope I haven't bored everyone with this personal reminiscence, but I do think it speaks volumes.

Thank you Diana and all at the archive. I will continue to peruse this site (Radiatiors, Ray's Music Exchange, Home at Last, Jason Mraz and so many other great bands not compromised by the bottom line) and take part in the COMMUNITY it has fostered. There's good folks here, and still plenty of good music, too.